You may remember how we welcomed Elise Worthy as the new owner of Kids on 45th back in 2017. Elise and team have transformed the store with a fresh look, new ways to consign and community events.
In the note sent to consignors below, Elise has made the difficult decision to step down and close the store at the end of March. Like Susan before her, she would love to pass the baton to a new owner and keep the store going. So, consider this an invitation! If you or someone else in the community would like to explore this opportunity, contact Elise at Kids on 45th – [email protected] or 206-633-5437.
Thank you for being part of the Kids on 45th community. I’m writing to let you know that March 24th, 2020 will be the store’s last day.
My family took over the store in early 2017 because we love Wallingford and the connection and resources the store provided for our neighborhood. 3 years have flown by! Though we’ve made great strides in this difficult small business environment, I have decided to hang up my hat as a store owner and spend more time with my family.
Please come by the store before March 24th to use up your store credit, pick up any consigned items that belong to you, and make your final purchases. We will not be accepting drop-offs during this time, and any items remaining will be donated to local nonprofits.
I am tremendously grateful to you for consigning and shopping with us. We’re hopeful that Kids on 45th will be back someday in another form.
For additional questions please contact [email protected]th.com.
Keep it local, keep it kind!
What is the “difficult environment for small businesses?”
I guess there’s no way we’ll ever know how much people are paying for storefronts in the retail core area on N 45th, but I suspect that’s a large part of it – high rents. In the more peripheral areas where there are newer buildings, the commercial management may also be a barrier. I know of a case where a small business owner had to cobble together a somewhat phony “chain”, to get in the management office door at one of those buildings. He was pretty successful there, but they wouldn’t have taken him on if he’d presented himself as owner of a (single) small business.
Parking can be a problem, depending on exactly where you are and what type of business.
Other issues, like cost of living, are more city wide. Whatever’s causing it, the type of business we have here is changing as some types appear to no longer be sustainable. World Wide Maps, for example – destination retail with relatively professional staff. If you’re aware of any Wallingford business in this category, do what you can to support them, because they’re almost certainly in a very tight spot, especially if they don’t own their space as few do.
Parking will certainly be a problem if CM Dan Strauss gets his way and gets rid of ALL the parking on 45th from Aurora to I-5 for his pet project of a bus only lane. It’s not even in his district and he’s trying to tell small business here to suck it up for the greater good of his constituents in Ballard.
Ask the small businesses on 45th. whether they think the parking in front of their stores is “wasted space.” Oh that’s right, Dan didn’t do that either. Because he knew what their answer would be.
The Wallingford Chamber of Commerce told Dan otherwise when he came to the WCC meeting last week. He got quite an earful.
Are you talking about Sawant and her screaming minions who turn city council hearings into a circus sideshow? Because the people at last week’s meeting weren’t loud. They were just upset and concerned that their livelihoods are once again being threatened by misguided city policies.
One of them mentioned that as the only one in her category in the Pacific Northwest, people apparently come from the airport among other places. Ice cream shops and the like may be fine with what’s going on, but she and others are already feeling the pinch on parking. That’s part of today’s “difficult environment for small business” and has been for several years.
One factor is a lack of bike lanes, which have proven to be good for small businesses.
That’s most likely it. My office is in Wallingford, and I have two coworkers that shop there for their kids. They live in Shoreline and Tacoma. On the other hand, people who move into the million dollar houses of Wallingford are very unlikely shoppers for a place like this.
Hmmm. That’s probably contributory to their closing, specifically. But she said “Difficult small business environment” and not “difficult environment for second-hand children’s clothing stores.” Seems like she was addressing broader issues? It caught my attention because I’ve read the same or nearly the same phrase in other business closing articles and no one ever defines it. It’s odd.
Came up in an article on a couple restaurant closures. In Ravenna, Arriba Cantina’s owners:
That just proves it’s a generic excuse with no meaning. There are no lack of restaurants in Seattle, and surely the number isn’t decreasing. What’s really happening with restaurants isn’t anything related to what’s happening with a kid clothing store. There are more and more busy restaurants in Seattle, but clothing stores in general are closing everywhere, and the most significant clothing closures aren’t small businesses at all, but all the big corporate chains.
In fact, clothing stores are being replaced by restaurants if you look at the latest trend of malls. And it’s national clothing chains being replaced by local restaurant chains.
“What’s really happening with restaurants isn’t anything related to what’s happening with a kid clothing store.” Do you have a link to your research?
What’s happening with restaurants isn’t even anything related to what’s happening with restaurants. “Restaurant” isn’t a category within which each member has the same clientele and same general requirements.
The point I hope we would all agree on, is that we should do what we can to make our little neighborhood work for its dwindling population of unique small individual businesses. For me, that starts with listening to what they say they need.
(And of course, it means shopping and eating locally, and with a somewhat open mind – for example, Wallingford has several options for sushi, and some are in my opinion undeservedly much more popular than others. A local population that stays away from restaurants that are serving up good stuff is part of our “difficult climate”.)
I feel terrible right now because I am definitely part of the restaurants’ current problem: our household is simply not going out to eat till this virus thing blows over.
If you want unique small individual businesses in the modern world, the only way is walkable high density community. There is a good reason why suburbs are full of chains and no interesting small businesses: low density. Even places like Mercer Island and Bellevue with all the money don’t have simple things like boutique coffee shops. For the longest time, the only place where small corner shops can survive well in the US are the few East Cost cities. On the other hand, they are still abundant around the world in big cities.
To survive as small business, you need to specialize. To specialize and yet having big enough customer base, you need density. That’s how Ballard suddenly got all these interesting shops and restaurants over the last ten years. It used to be a place with fast food, Denny’s, and swift shops.
Go look at Pacific Place, Northgate Mall, South Center Mall, University Village, Ballard downtown, Seattle downtown overall, and look at what’s opening and what’s closing. Clothing shops are closing in general, with more restaurants opening up.
Even in Wallingford there are more traffic for food nowadays than a few years ago.
People use terms like that because it’s generic, so they don’t have to go into the details of individual reasons. A store closes because the situation isn’t good for that store, not because of something generic or broader. It just sometimes the generic or broader factors contribute to the individual case. And to talk about generic factors is just what’s more socially acceptable.
People use terms like that because it’s generic…not because of something generic
If you have difficulty understanding what I said, I can say it differently. Stores close because they are not making enough money to worth it, and the reasons can be various. Most likely store owners will not spell out all the reasons, and quite often the store owners don’t know all the reasons. What they know is the numbers aren’t good enough. However, typically they’ll offer up some sort of generic reasoning as excuses. It’s like somebody quit a post to “spend more time with the family”. How much it is about family time is never really relevant, just that’s a socially accepted generic answer. If you care about if small businesses are viable, you do that by checking how many small businesses are around, not by asking a specific closing venture. If you ask all the closing restaurants in Seattle, they’ll tell you how Seattle is not good for restaurant business. However, if you look at how many restaurants are out there, that’d be a different story.
The lack of shoppers / foot traffic, honestly. With the state of the world and panic that has been going on, small businesses in this area don’t have nearly the foot traffic that they once did.